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Liverpool Football Club is a professional football club based in Liverpool, England. The club plays in the Premier League, and has won more trophies than any other English club. Liverpool has won a joint-record eighteen league titles,[1] seven FA Cups, seven League Cups, and the European Cup five times, a record for an English club.

The club was founded in 1892, and quickly became a strong force in English football, winning five league championships between 1900 and 1947. However, Liverpool spent several years in the Second Division (level 2) during the late 1950s, and did not win promotion again until the appointment of Bill Shankly as manager in 1959. The club traditionally played in red and white, but this was changed to all red in the 1960s.

Under Shankly's management, Liverpool won three League Championship titles, two FA Cups and a UEFA Cup; the club's first European trophy. In the past 30 years, they have been one of the most successful clubs in English and European football; they won four European Cups between 1977 and 1984. The club experienced a lean period during the 1990s, but saw a revival when they won a cup treble in 2001 and the club's fifth European Cup in 2005.

The Heysel Stadium disaster made the club infamous in Europe; 39 Juventus fans died after a wall collapsed as they fled from charging Liverpool fans. The club was involved in another disaster four years later—the Hillsborough Disaster— which saw the death of 96 Liverpool fans in a crush against perimeter fencing. Flames were added to the club's crest in honour of the Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough. Both disasters have had wide-ranging impacts on English and European football, and the club to this day.

Liverpool F.C. has played at Anfield since its formation, but plans to move to a new stadium in Stanley Park, which was due to be completed by 2011 but has been put on hold until economic conditions improve. Liverpool has a large and diverse fan base, which holds long-standing rivalries with several clubs. The most notable of these are their rivalries with Manchester United and Everton, with whom they regularly contest the Merseyside derby.

History

Liverpool F.C. was founded after a dispute between Everton and John Houlding, the leaseholder of Anfield and Everton director. Fundamental difference emerged in how the club should be run when the club assessed the purchase the whole of the Anfield site. Houlding was accused of motives for personal financial gain. Everton who had been playing at Anfield for eight years departed from Houlding and Anfield moving to a new stadium in Goodison Park.[2][3]

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Liverpool F.C. was founded by Houlding to play at the vacated Anfield. The original name was to be Everton F.C. and Athletic Grounds, Ltd., or Everton Athletic for short, but it was changed to Liverpool F.C. in June 1892 when The Football Association refused to recognise the team as Everton.[4]

The club won the Lancashire League in their first season, and successfully applied to join the Second Division for the following season. They won the league and were promoted to the First Division. They won their first title in 1900–01, and were champions again in 1905–06. They reached their first FA Cup final in 1914 but lost 1–0 to Burnley.[5] The club won back-to-back championships in 1921–22 and 1922–23, but after this the club did not win another trophy until 1946–47 when they won the League for a fifth time. The club reached the FA Cup final in 1950, but lost to Arsenal. Liverpool struggled afterwards, and the club was relegated to the Second Division in the 1953–54 season.[6]

Liverpool floundered until the appointment of Bill Shankly as manager in 1959. On his appointment he released 24 players and began to reshape the team.[7] Shankly utilised The Boot Room for a second purpose; the location of coaches meetings. The founder members with Shankly of the boot room staff were Joe Fagan, Reuben Bennett and Bob Paisley.

Promotion to the First Division was achieved in 1961–62, and the club won the League for the first time in 17 years in 1963–64. Another League title followed in 1965–66, after the club had won their first FA Cup the previous season. The club won the League and UEFA Cup in 1972–73 and the FA Cup again a year later; after this, Shankly retired and was replaced by his assistant Bob Paisley.[8] Paisley was even more successful than Shankly and the club won the League and UEFA Cup in 1975–76, his second season as manager. The following season they retained the League title, won the European Cup for the first time, but lost in the FA Cup final, narrowly missing out on a treble. Liverpool retained the European Cup the next season, and the season after won the League again with 68 points—a domestic record, conceding only 16 goals in 42 league matches.[9] During the nine seasons Paisley managed the club, Liverpool won 21 trophies, including three European Cups, a UEFA Cup, six league titles and three consecutive League Cups. The only domestic trophy to elude him was the FA Cup.[10]

Paisley retired in 1983 and (as Shankly had done) handed the reins to his assistant, veteran coach Joe Fagan. The succession of coaches came from the Anfield Boot Room where the Liverpool staff discussed strategy and allegedly stored gin.[11] Liverpool won three trophies in Fagan's first season in charge: the League, League Cup and European Cup, becoming the first English side to win three trophies in a season.[12] Liverpool reached the European Cup final again in 1985. The match was against Juventus at the Heysel Stadium. Before kick-off, disaster struck: Liverpool fans breached a fence which separated the two groups of supporters and charged the Juventus fans. The resulting weight of people caused a retaining wall to collapse, killing 39 fans, mostly Italians. The match was played regardless and Liverpool lost 1–0 to Juventus. English clubs were consequently banned from participating in European competition for five years; Liverpool received a ten-year ban, which was later reduced to six years. Fourteen of their fans received convictions for involuntary manslaughter.[13]

Fagan resigned after the disaster and Kenny Dalglish was appointed as player-manager.[14][15] During his reign, the club won another three League Championships and two FA Cups, including a League and Cup "Double" in 1985–86. Liverpool's success was overshadowed by the Hillsborough Disaster: in an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989, hundreds of Liverpool fans were crushed.[16] 94 fans died that day; the 95th victim died in hospital from his injuries four days later, and the 96th died nearly four years later without regaining consciousness. After the Hillsborough tragedy there was a governmental review of stadium safety. Known as the Taylor Report, it paved the way for legislation which required top-division teams to have all-seater stadiums. The report ruled that the main reason for the disaster was overcrowding due to a failure of police control.[17][18] Dalglish cited the Hillsborough Disaster and its repercussions as the reason for his resignation in 1991. He was replaced by former player Graeme Souness. Apart from winning the FA Cup in 1992, Souness achieved little success and was replaced by a former member of the "Boot Room", Roy Evans. Evans fared little better: a League Cup victory in 1995 was his only trophy. Gérard Houllier was appointed as co-manager in 1998–99, but was left in sole charge after Evans resigned in November 1998.[19]

In his second season in charge Liverpool won a unique treble of the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup.[20] In the 2001–02 season, during which Houllier underwent major heart surgery, Liverpool finished second behind Arsenal.[21] The following seasons failed to live up to expectations and Houllier was replaced by Rafael Benítez. The club finished fifth in his first season in charge but won the UEFA Champions League by beating Milan 3–2 in a penalty shootout after the match finished 3–3.[22] The following season Liverpool finished third with 82 points—their highest total since 1988. They won the FA Cup as they had the Champions League victory the previous season, by beating West Ham United in penalty shootout after the match finished at 3–3. In 2006–07, the club's search for investment came to an end when American businessmen George Gillett and Tom Hicks became the owners of Liverpool in a deal which valued the club and its outstanding debts at £218.9 million.[23] That season, the club reached another Champions League final, but this time they lost 2–1 to AC Milan.[24]

Colours and crest

Liverpool traditionally played in red and white, but this was changed to an all red kit in the mid 1960s. Red has not always been used, in the early days, when the club took over Anfield from Everton; they used the Toffees' colours of blue and white. Their kit was almost identical to that worn by the Everton team of the time. By 1894 Liverpool had chosen red, and in 1901 the city's liver bird was adopted as the club's badge.[25] For the next 60 years Liverpool's kit was red shirts with white shorts. The socks were changed over the years from red, to black, to white, and back to red again.

In 1964, then-Liverpool manager Bill Shankly decided to send the team out in all red for the first time against Anderlecht, as Ian St. John recalled in his autobiography:

"He thought the colour scheme would carry psychological impact—red for danger, red for power. He came into the dressing room one day and threw a pair of red shorts to Ronnie Yeats. “Get into those shorts and let’s see how you look,” he said. “Christ, Ronnie, you look awesome, terrifying. You look 7ft tall.” “Why not go the whole hog, boss?” I suggested. “Why not wear red socks? Let’s go out all in red.” Shankly approved and an iconic kit was born.[26]

Liverpool's away colours are traditionally either white shirts and black shorts or all yellow. However, in 1987 an all grey kit was introduced, which was used until the centenary season of 1991–92, when it was replaced by a combination of green shirts and white shorts. After various colour combinations in the 1990s, including gold and navy, bright yellow, black and grey, and ecru, the club alternated between yellow and white away kits until the 2008–09 season, when they re-introduced the grey kit.[27] The current kits are designed by Adidas,[28] who made the club's kits between 1985 and 1996. The only other branded shirts worn by the club were made by Umbro until 1985 and Reebok for ten seasons starting in 1996.[29] A third kit, consisting of a turquoise top and black shorts, has been designed primarily for Champions League away games, but is used for any domestic games where both red and grey would clash.[30]

Liverpool was the first British professional club to have a sponsor's logo on their shirts,[31] after they agreed to a deal with Hitachi in 1979. Since then they have been sponsored by Crown Paints, Candy, Carlsberg and soon to be Standard Chartered Bank. The contract with Carlsberg, which was signed in 1992, was the longest agreement in English top-flight football.[32]

Liverpool have confirmed that sponsor Carlsberg will be replaced with Standard Chartered Bank at the start of the 2010-11 season, ending a 17-year association with Carlsberg.[33]

The Liverpool badge is based around the city's liver bird, which is placed inside a shield. Above the shield is a representation of the Shankly Gates with the title of club's famous anthem, "You'll Never Walk Alone". The twin flames at either side are symbolic of the Hillsborough memorial outside Anfield, where an eternal flame burns in memory of those who died in the disaster.[34]

Stadia

Liverpool has played at Anfield since they were founded in 1892. Anfield was built in 1884 on land adjacent to Stanley Park, and was originally used by Everton.[35] They left the ground in 1892 over a dispute about rent with the owner of Anfield, John Houlding, who decided to form a new club to play at the ground. The capacity of the stadium was 20,000, although only 100 spectators attended Liverpool's first match at Anfield.[36]

In 1906, the banked stand at one end of the ground was formally renamed the Spion Kop[37] after a hill in Natal. The hill was the site of the Battle of Spion Kop in the Second Boer War, where over 300 men of the Lancashire Regiment died, many of whom were from Liverpool.[38] At its largest, the stand could hold 28,000 spectators, and was one of the largest single tier stands in the world. Many stadia in England had stands named after the Spion Kop, but Anfield's was the largest Kop in the country at the time; it was able to hold more supporters than some entire football grounds.[38] The stand was considerably reduced in capacity due to safety measures brought in following the Hillsborough Disaster. It was completely rebuilt as an all-seater stand in 1994, and remains a single tier stand with a reduced capacity of 12,390.[36]

The Anfield Road stand is positioned at the opposite end to the Kop, and houses the away team's fans. Rebuilt in 1998 with a capacity of 9,074, it is the newest stand at Anfield. The two stands adjacent to these are the Main Stand, with a capacity of 12,227, and the Centenary Stand, which has a capacity of 11,762. The Main Stand is the oldest part of Anfield, and has remained largely untouched since its redevelopment in 1973. It houses the players' changing rooms and the director's box, and the dug-outs are in front of the stand. The Centenary Stand was previously known as the Kemlyn Road Stand until it was rebuilt for the club's centenary in 1992. The redevelopment saw the houses in Kemlyn Road demolished and the address become non-existent. The capacity of the stadium is 45,362. It is rated as a four-star stadium in the UEFA Stadia List.[39]

On 30 July 2004, the Liverpool City Council granted the club planning permission to build a new 60,000-seat stadium just 300 yards (270 m) away from Anfield at Stanley Park,[40] and on 8 September 2006 the Council agreed to grant Liverpool F.C. a 999-year lease on the land on the proposed site.[41] Following the takeover of the club in February 2007 by George Gillett and Tom Hicks, the proposed stadium was redesigned. In November 2007, the new design was approved by the Council, and construction started in June 2008.[42][43] HKS, Inc. are building the new stadium which is expected to be completed in 2011.[44]

Training ground

Melwood, in West Derby, Liverpool, has been the home of Liverpool's training ground since the 1950s. It is not attached to The Academy, which is in Kirkby. The ground previously belonged to St Francis Xavier, a local school.[45]

Supporters

Liverpool has a large and loyal fan-base, and nearly all home matches sell out. During the season 2008–09, Liverpool had the fourth-highest average League attendance for an English club: 44,318, which is 96.8% of available capacity.[46] Liverpool fans often refer to themselves as "Kopites", which is a reference to the fans who once stood, and now sit, on the Kop at Anfield.[47]

The song "You'll Never Walk Alone", originally from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel and later recorded by Liverpool musicians Gerry & The Pacemakers, is the club's anthem, and has been sung by the Anfield crowd since the early 1960s. It has since gained popularity among fans of other clubs around the world.[48] The song's title adorns the top of the Shankly Gates, which were unveiled on 2 August 1982 in memory of the former manager Bill Shankly. The "You'll Never Walk Alone" portion of the Shankly Gates is also reproduced on the club's crest.

Liverpool's longest-established rivalry is with fellow Merseyside team Everton, against whom they contest the Merseyside derby. This stems from Liverpool's formation and the dispute with Everton officials and the then owners of Anfield. Religious differences have been cited as a cause of division, although both teams stem from a Methodist origin, which undermines the notion of a Catholic–Protestant split.[49] The Merseyside derby is usually a sell-out fixture. More players have been sent off in it than in any other fixture in Premier League history.[50] It is one of the few local derbies that does not enforce fan segregation.[51] Liverpool has a rivalry with its neighbours Manchester United. This is mostly due to the success enjoyed by the two clubs and the proximity of the two cities.[52] The rivalry is so intense that the last player to be transferred between the two clubs was Phil Chisnall in 1964, when he moved to Liverpool from United.[53]

The club's supporters have been involved in two major tragic events. The first was the Heysel Stadium disaster, in which 39 Juventus fans were killed. They were penned into a corner by Liverpool fans who charged in their direction, the sheer number of fans cornered caused a wall to collapse. After the final UEFA laid the blame for the incident solely on the fans of Liverpool,[54] English clubs were banned from European competition for five years and Liverpool served an extra year, a six-year ban.[55] There were 27 arrests on suspicion of manslaughter – the only extraditable offence applicable to events at Heysel. The majority of these people were from Merseyside. Some of these people had previous convictions for football-related violence. In 1989, after a 5-month trial in Belgium, fourteen Liverpool fans were given 3-year sentences for involuntary manslaughter.[56] Half the terms were suspended[57] and it is unclear how many served their sentences.

The second was during an FA Cup semi-final in 1989 between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, 96 Liverpool fans died due to overcrowding in what became known as the Hillsborough Disaster. The Sun newspaper published an article entitled "The Truth", in which it claimed that Liverpool fans had robbed and urinated on the dead and had attacked the police.[58] Subsequent investigations proved the allegations to be false, and this led to a city-wide boycott of the newspaper.[59] Many organisations were set up as a result of the disaster, such as the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, which represents bereaved families, survivors and supporters, who campaign for justice for the 96 people who died in Sheffield on 15 April 1989.[60]

Ownership and finances

Liverpool is owned by George Gillett and Tom Hicks, who acquired the club on 6 February 2007 from previous chairman David Moores. The deal valued the club and its outstanding debts at £218.9 million. The pair paid £5,000 per share, or £174.1m for the total shareholding in the club, and £44.8m to cover the club's debts.[61] Disagreements between Gillett and Hicks, and their lack of the fans' support, have precipitated rumours that Dubai International Capital (DIC), who were interested in buying the club before Gillett and Hicks took over, would bid for the club.[62] Another group, Share Liverpool FC, also expressed interest in purchasing the club. They proposed to pay £500m, which would be funded by 100,000 fans contributing £5,000 each for a club share. However, the group have been unable to raise the required capital to make an offer for the club.[63]

In April 2008, business magazine Forbes ranked Liverpool as the fourth most valuable football team in the world, after Manchester United, Real Madrid and Arsenal. They valued the club at $1.0bn (£605m), excluding debt.[64] Accountants Deloitte rate Liverpool eighth in the 2008 Deloitte Football Money League, which ranks the world's football clubs in terms of revenue. Liverpool's income of £133.9m in the 2006–07 season moved them up from tenth the previous season.[65]

Liverpool in popular culture

As the most successful team in the history of English football, Liverpool is often featured when football is depicted in British culture and has appeared in a number of media "firsts". The club appeared in the first edition of the BBC's Match of the Day, which screened highlights of their match against Arsenal at Anfield on 22 August 1964. The club was also the subject of television's first colour football transmission, which showed their match against West Ham United live.[66] Liverpool fans feature in the Pink Floyd song "Fearless", in which they sang excerpts from "You'll Never Walk Alone".[67] Liverpool released a song known as the "Anfield Rap" in 1988. It was the club's FA Cup anthem for the final against Wimbledon, and featured John Barnes performing a rap with other members of the squad participating.[68]

A documentary drama on the Hillsborough Disaster written by Jimmy McGovern was screened in 1996. It features Christopher Eccleston as Trevor Hicks, whose story formed the focus of the script. Hicks, who lost two teenage daughters in the disaster, went on to campaign for safer stadia and helped to form the Hillsborough Families Support Group.[69] Liverpool feature in the film The 51st State (also known as Formula 51). Ex-hitman Felix DeSouza (Robert Carlyle) is an avid fan of the team and the last scene of the film takes place at a match between Liverpool and Manchester United.[70] The club was featured in a children's television show called Scully; the plot revolved around a young boy, Francis Scully, who tried to win a trial with Liverpool. The show featured prominent Liverpool players of the time such as Kenny Dalglish.[71]

Statistics and records

Liverpool's first competitive game was an 8–0 victory in the Lancashire League against Higher Walton.[72] Ian Callaghan holds Liverpool's overall appearance record—he played 857 matches over the course of 19 seasons from 1958 to 1978—[73] and the record for League appearances with 640.[74] Of the current squad, Jamie Carragher has the most appearances; he played his 500th game for the club early in 2008.[75]

Liverpool's all-time leading scorer is Ian Rush, who scored 346 goals while at the club from 1980 to 1987 and 1988 to 1996.[74] Rush holds the record for the most goals in a season with 47 in 1983–84. However, during his career, Rush could not surpass Roger Hunt's record number of league goals, which has stood at 245 since 1970.[76] In the 1961–62 season, Hunt scored 41 goals, which is the club record for league goals in a single season.[77] Gordon Hodgson, the club's third highest scorer with 240 goals,[78] holds the club record of 17 hat tricks.[74] The most goals scored by a player in a single match is five; John Miller, Andy McGuigan, John Evans, Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler have achieved this feat.[79] Fowler also holds the club and Premier League record for the fastest hat trick: he scored three goals in four minutes, 32 seconds against Arsenal in the 1994–95 season.[80] Steven Gerrard is Liverpool's all-time leading goalscorer in European competition with 29 goals.[74]

Liverpool's biggest victory is 11–0 against Strømsgodset IF in 1974.[74] Liverpool's 10–1 defeat of Rotherham Town in 1896 was its largest league win.[77] This margin of victory was matched when Crystal Palace were defeated 9–0 at Anfield in 1989.[81] Liverpool's heaviest defeat, 1–9, came against Birmingham City in 1954.[74] Liverpool's 8–0 win against Beşiktaş J.K. in the Champions League was the largest victory in the competition's history at the time.[82][83]

Sponsorship

The Reds have announced a record £80 million, four-year sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered Bank which will come into place for the 2010/2011 season.[84]

Award winners

Ballon d'Or

The following players have won the Ballon d'Or whilst playing for Liverpool:

  • Michael Owen – 2001
European Golden Shoe

The following players have won the European Golden Shoe whilst playing for Liverpool:

  • Ian Rush (32 goals) – 1984
UEFA Club Footballer of the Year

The following players have won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award whilst playing for Liverpool:

  • Steven Gerrard – 2005

Managers

Liverpool has had 17 permanent managers and one caretaker manager since the club's first appointed, W.E. Barclay and John McKenna as professional managers in 1892. The longest-serving manager in terms of time was Tom Watson, who managed Liverpool for 19 years from 1896 to 1915. Bill Shankly managed the club for more games than any other manager; he served for 783 matches. Kenny Dalglish was the first player-manager in English football when he was appointed in 1985. Bob Paisley, who won 19 trophies during his tenure, was the club's most successful manager.[91]

Honours

Liverpool has won the English League Championship eighteen times (a record they share with Manchester United),[92] the FA Cup seven times and the League Cup a record seven times. The club achieved a League and FA Cup "Double" in 1986, and has won the League and European Cup double twice, in 1977 and 1984. They also won the League Cup in 1984 to complete a unique treble, a feat they repeated (albeit with different trophies) in 2001 when they won the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup.[93] Liverpool has won the European Cup, Europe's primary club competition, five times, which is an English record. Only Real Madrid and Milan has won the competition on more occasions. The club's fifth triumph meant that they won the trophy outright and was awarded a multiple-winner badge.[94] The club has won the UEFA Cup, Europe's secondary club competition, three times, a record they share with Juventus and Internazionale.[95]

Domestic

League

  • Football League First Division (English football champions) (level 1)
Winners (18): 1900–01, 1905–06, 1921–22, 1922–23, 1946–47, 1963–64, 1965–66, 1972–73, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1989–90
  • Second Division (level 2)
Winners (4): 1893–94, 1895–96, 1904–05, 1961–62
  • Lancashire League
Winners (1): 1892–93

Cups

  • FA Cup
Winners (7): 1965, 1974, 1986, 1989, 1992, 2001, 2006
  • League Cup
Winners (7): 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995, 2001, 2003
  • FA Charity Shield / FA Community Shield
Winners (15, 10 outright and 5 shared): 1964 (shared), 1965 (shared), 1966, 1974, 1976, 1977 (shared), 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986 (shared), 1988, 1989, 1990 (shared), 2001, 2006
  • Super Cup
Winners (1): 1986

European

  • European Cup and UEFA Champions League
Winners (5): 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005
  • UEFA Cup
Winners (3): 1973, 1976, 2001
  • UEFA Super Cup
Winners (3): 1977, 2001, 2005

References and Notes

Wiki Source

Vote on your favourite Liverpool player past or present and say why if you want

Player Votes Comment
Steven Gerrard

10

Gerrard 100% pure amazing

STEVEN GERRARD HE IS PURELY LIVERPOOL

Kenny Dalglish

3

 
Robbie Fowler

1

 
Ian Rush

1

 
John Arne Riise

1

the best defender/midfielder  in the world
Tom Watson

1

 
Kevin Keegan

1

paired with john toshack no one could handle them when on a charge
Djibril Cissé

1

 
Dave Hickson

1

because he played for Everton too!
Michael Owen

1

 
Phil Neal

1

 
John Barnes

1

 
Dirk Kuyt

1

because he is a great player and does a brill robot

Comments

awaiting your comments



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Best Footballer in the world

Top Five Players

1. Ronaldo 2. Messi
3. Ronaldinho  4. Pele
5. Gerrard


Vote for the best football player on the planet

stevie gerrard is the best because he can do everything whereas other good players specialise in a few things. Also he works hard and is loyal to club and country.

C.ronaldo is d best footballer

mi jugador es iniesta de espana

I think c ronaldo is the best

ronaldinho he's the master

Christino Ronaldo is the best player of the world. In 47 matches he scored 48 goals in only one year compared to messi who only scored 106 in 159 matches in 6 years. The ballon d'or earned.

my vote is with xavi of barcelona technically he is brilliant. his control vision and touch is first class i hope he wins fifa world player of the year in a week or sos time
Lionel messi is the best playeq in the world by yinkusengine

torres,messi,kaka,cristiono ronaldo,villa and xavi